Blake Shelton's happily in love with Gwen Stefani and sitting at the top of the charts with his new album If I'm Honest, but getting back to a positive place wasn't easy for the country singer. 

"This time last year, there was no light at the end of the tunnel for me personally," the Voice coach tells PEOPLE exclusively. "There was a point there where I thought I didn't even want to exist anymore." 

After 10 years together and four years of marriage, the star split from Miranda Lambert last July. "This is not the future we envisioned," the former couple said in a statement at the time. 

"I told people I wished I could go into a coma and wake up a year from now," says Shelton of the dark days after their divorce. 

In the months following, the "She's Got a Way with Words" singer, 39, struck up a close friendship with Gwen Stefani – who also recently split from rocker Gavin Rossdale – and their friendship eventually took a romantic turn in November. 

"Here we are a year from now, and [look at] the way things have turned out and how crazy life is sometimes," he says. "You never know who's in your life that can save your life, and I found that out."